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A victory for the anti-war movement?

category galway | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Monday December 17, 2007 21:58author by JohnC - - Report this post to the editors

Militaristic Salthill air show cancelled

It has been announced that the Salthill Air Show for 2008 has been cancelled. Organisers attribute the cancellation to difficulties in raising commercial sponsorship, something they blame on the campaigning of the Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW). Potential business sponsors, evidently, do not wish to be associated with something as controversial as this air show.

The air show became controversial because of the active opposition of GAAW (and other peace activists), who objected to the display of military air craft, and to the participation of military personnel fresh from bombing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The glorification of warfare, GAAW has argued, should not be presented as harmless family entertainment.

Since the announcement, supporters of the air show have used local radio and the local papers to blame GAAW for their difficulties. Some samples will give a flavour of the criticism.

Councillor Michael Crowe was quoted as follows in Galway Advertiser, 06/12/07:
“I understand the position of GAAW, and I respect it, and they are entitled to make their views known, but you make your view and you leave it. Every time the budget comes around and every summer, we are harassed and given what I would call borderline abuse on the issue. I’m fed up of the rent-a-crowd brigade. What have they ever done for the city. If they don’t like which way the sun comes up, they stick up a few posters, ring a few people and go out protesting.”

Elsewhere (Galway Independent, 05/12/07), Crowe was quoted as follows:
“Every year, the anti-war alliance put up a fight. I’m sick and tired of this anti-war crowd. The people of Galway don’t cause the war, and these planes are for display purposes only”.

For his part, the technical director of the event, Tony Gibson, stated that warshow organisers were “personally very upset with the anti-show movement, and the push they’ve made to get the funding cut” (Galway Independent, 05/1207)

And an anonymous poster on the guestbook for salthillairshow.com, was in no doubt about who to blame for the cancellation:
“these anti war fools should get facts right before they reck a great irish event. I would assune they tavel on planes on there holidays. Are these not made by Boeing and Airbus . War plane makers very narrow minded, dont know what they are talking about or is it they like to hear them selfs. UP THE SALTHILL AIRSHOW BRING ON 2008”

author by David Lpublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is great news and fair dues to GAAW for the work they've put into this. The inane comments by the critics of GAAW are something else. Do they never think why people actually listen to anti-war activists?

Anyway, the sun's come up the wrong way here in Dublin, so I'm off to put up a few posters.

author by Fintan Lane - ISN (and AWI)publication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's a wonderful recommendation from Cllr Crowe. Well done GAAW! An excellent development.

These airshows, stuffed with military hardware, are little more than soft-sells of killing machines. The fewer, the better, in my opinion, particularly in the context of global warming.

Related Link: http://www.irishsocialist.net
author by A10publication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Clicked on the above link.It gives the salthill airshow website.No mention of said above poster or at least I cant find it. One wonders...

A victory allright, of a phyrric kind.Be intresting to see if it moves to Shannon will GAAW become SAAW overnight???

author by Jimmypublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How are the public to be made aware of the sophisticated weaponry used by Western armies against the third world?

The nature of modern warfare, the high performance jet aircraft, is only revealed to the public during the demonstrations of military might.

The public is would be unaware that the average Iraqi insurgent is armed with an AK-47 assault rifle while his American counterpart can call down the overwhelming firepower from fast movers such as the A-10 Warthog, the AC-130 gunship and the F-18 Hornet without public airshows.

The public is only made aware what these weapons look like when they are put on public display.

author by Cath Morpublication date Tue Dec 18, 2007 01:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The composites being tested by CTL surely can be used for military as well as civilian aircraft.
Is Irish neutrality being compromised? or does Irish neutrality exist anymore?

author by PaddyKpublication date Tue Dec 18, 2007 01:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Spectacular show , Galway Alliance Against War,

We dont need no Top Gun Arsehole Antics to inspire our kids. We have peace activism. Make sure that shower of warslaves know the message. Stay on the case and keep that freak circus banned.

Happy Christmas


author by Kevin Mpublication date Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Wonderful news. High time this horrible celebration of milatary violence and killing was stopped. I was on a tiny demo of ten people against the show, mostly from the SWP, ten years ago, and the reaction to us was quite frightening. Galway was a right-wing stronghold back in those days, no coincidence that it was chosen as the venue for this "air-show" Congratulations to all involved.

author by Damien Moranpublication date Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I only managed to attend one of the GAAW organised events against the Salthill war show. Alongside Denis Halliday, Nuria Mustafa, John and all the other dedicated folks who attended these events, it was an important occasion to voice opposition and reveal the true nature of many of the machines involved. Good riddance war machines. Galway and Ireland have enough festivals to keep it busy and entertained without having to applaud and be in awe of this awful event. May many more anti-war victories come our way.

Related Link: http://www.peacenikhurler.blogspot.com
author by DAWC memberpublication date Tue Dec 18, 2007 19:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Much congratulations and respect to all the folks who took the time and trouble to educate the general public about the more sinister side of this "family day out". If it even makes one person think twice then its a victory. All your hard work and determination has paid off and only serves to inspire others to keep fighting the good fight, not just here but all over the world.
A very big well done to all of you!

author by MIchael O Toolepublication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Air Show may be cancelled at present but I hear from a friend in the know that it is possible that it will be on in 2008. This will be the best news I and thousands of others will be delighted to hear.

Bring It On

author by Mick Macpublication date Fri Dec 28, 2007 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I sincerely hope to see the airshow come back to Galway next year. It is tenuous to suggest that seeing military planes in the airshow is somehow supporting their use in wartime, being complicit in any deaths that result from the use of these particular planes or glorifying war, be it just or otherwise. It is unfortunate to see potential sponsors are apparently intimidated by this group if it is true what the concillors are saying.

author by Pro Aviation Galwegian againpublication date Thu Jan 03, 2008 18:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Even though I oppose their aim of cancelling the airshow, I do not hold GAAW responsible. The fact is, unless they went to the Salthill businesses and threatened them against sponsoring the show, Galway Alliance Against War did not influence the decision to cancel the airshow. To blame them is wrong.

You are entitled to your opinions, and ye put on a decent show this year. I'd have liked to see the dual show weekend continue. but that's not going to happen.

Well done on organising a show of your own, and thanks for not taking undue credit for ending the show.

author by Galwegian Air enthusiastpublication date Thu Jan 03, 2008 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I just wanted to add, for those who feel the need to dance on the grave of the Salthill Air show, talking of "war planes evil empire baby killings etc etc"

A pity I didn't see this before Christmas, it would have been the best time to do it. But, if you have a spare afternoon, go to a large airport arrivals hall, just where the passengers come out after customs, to be greeted by their families, business partners, Long-lost feinds, people who haven't met them in years.

What you see there, is what aviation is all about.

Four generations ago, to leave Ireland was to never see her again, to hear of your parents dying, having never told them goodbye, to forget the faces of those you grew up with. You never saw a foreigner, because they stayed in their own countries. The Airplane has done so much to help eradicate racism, bring families back in touch, promote love, make people happy, and shown us how we are really, when you get down to it, not that different.

It was the war machines, with its US and USSR Military pilots becoming astronauts, that has brought us the pictures of Mother Earth. Satellites launched by the Militarily financed NASA have show us how our ailing planet needs saving. Reminded us that borders are man-made, not natural. In the big black, we are all on one big blue planet.

We Aviation heads do not differenciate between war and peace planes. All it takes is the removal of a rescue winch and the installing of a machine gun mount to turn a life-saver to a life-taker. We see another step, another notch forward, a machine better than its predecessor, from which we have learned lessons, and will learn more lessons. The fighter plane you look at today, has the technology in it that will make sure your grandson doesn't fall out of the sky in 30 years time.

Faster planes means less time between loved ones, higher planes means more and more people will have the view of the Earth that inspires us to protect her, further planes means people will go further, nad return with wonderful stories and lessons about how those other people live.

I've ranted a bit. I apologise.

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